While Miguel was casually sanding down parts of the body to see if we could find a paint match, he stumbled upon some brown on the door. I immediately asked him to go over the door with an easy sand with my fingers crossed. Low and behold, the original "VIP'S" livery! I have to say, it is quite amazing to see the original livery in the flesh, and it makes paint matching that much easier!
Due to a new job, updates have been quite slim and I apologize for that. As the wallet slims, Miguel has made some promising strides in the restoration. Since dropping the VIP'S Z at Miguel's shop, it has received a tremendous amount of work. Thus far, the car has undergone a full paint strip and sandblasting, much needed body work from the many years of racing, custom fitting of new body parts and reinforcements to withstand the stresses of racing.
On April 3, 2015 I took another trip down south to Miguel's to begin the selection of paint and review the work thus far. I arrived happy to find that the car had been completely sandblasted and the body work was well on its way.
The rear fenders needed a considerable amount of work, given that they had been damaged over the years and replaced with later Series II fenders. I had Miguel patch up the Series II fender vents, as the car will have the correct early Series I vented hatch. Here is a glimpse of what is to come... I have to admit that it was very exciting to see the old C-Production flares back on the car for the first time in probably 30 years!
There is something special about seeing a vintage car in the mid-state of restoration. The exposted bare metal gives you a real taste of just how much of tin cans these cars really were! The roll bar was built by Steve Epperly's father when Loren first received the car in late 1976. The corner gussets really go to show how much detail was really put into ensuring this car was as rigid as possible.
Miguel's paint matching guy ended up presenting us with what he eye-matched based off the original VIP'S livery door. While they were excellent matches, I was hoping for a creme and brown that were a tad lighter. The paint guy will be mixing paint a few shades lighter. TheLamborghini "70's-looking" orange shown in the photo will be the color of the borders the VIP'S designs, the light grey will serve as the engine bay and underbody color, and the dark great as the interior.
After I returned home and in more recent weeks, Miguel has continued to repair the rear of the car. Unfortunately, the rear has turned out to be a larger undertaking than initially expected. Of course, that can't be a huge surprise given that this is a vintage car restoration right? The original rear valance was removed to find that the rear body frame was pushed in about an inch.
Through Miguel's ingenious work, he was able to realign everything so that the rear valance looked as though it was never removed! In order to avoid cracks in the paint, all the metal on the car is being shaped to as near-perfect as possible before skin layers of filler are applied.
Here you can see an inner fender lip being created from scratch with the purpose of reinforcing previously cut fenders. Miguel will be adding this 90 degree inward lip to improve rigidity. We believe this will lessen the stress on this area which commonly results in cracked paint. You can see from this photo that the lip is being welded to the inside fender.
You can see from this photo that the lip is being welded to the inside fender.
And the result?
Other body panels being stripped and prepped for paint! A Series I hatch, engine bay lids, and 280Z valance pieces that the car raced with.
A few more shots of other body panels being prepped: C-Production flared front fenders, rear flares and a 432-style wing which the car ran with back in the day.
Now it may just be me being OCD, but details make-eth the restoration! The details are also the most enjoyable part of the process as well. Here you can see the finished product of a 1970 driver side door with body work that matches the original "VIP'S" door. Everything from the quick release latch to metal lightening. Of course, I wanted to keep the original door as a memento.